Safety Observations in the Workplace

Posted by Sjoerd van der Hoorn on May 26, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Some of you may have read the EU case study that I shared among a LinkedIn Group I participate in. The publication features a Finnish construction company and its road to implementing a thorough safety culture through safety observation cards.

Most companies have implemented some sort of work or safety observation cards. Some of the key factors to success are that the system has to be user friendly, easy and quick to fill out, provides feedback to the observers (either individually or in group sessions), introduces new workers to the concept, raises corporate level observations to upper management, and so on. In order to make reporting observations a habit, you could consider setting up a competition between work sites, and recognize them for their input. The case study also describes encouraging involvement to the program by making a small donation to charity for each observation.

Collecting and analyzing the input from your employees helps build a huge database of leading indicators that can be queried any time there is a concern about a safety matter. Moreover, by applying regular targeted analysis and reporting, issues you may not have been exposed to yet can be revealed and taken care of before they result in any lost time. Big data is a massive game changer in the world of safety.

The best way to track work observations is by means of integrated EHS software. Combining your observation statistics with other proactive measures provide you with great insight on ways to improve your safety culture.

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Obviously, this case study describes only one example of an organization that turned safety concerns into an improved working environment. There are lots of other examples that showcase this too. Safety observation cards are a simple yet effective first step into building a solid system that guarantees a safe working environment.

Join the HSE People Group on LinkedIn, and check out my post here.

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, Safety Tips

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